Athlete of the Week: Jeremy Burton of Nehemiah House and Stronger Together Fitness
In the true spirit of giving during Christmas, this week's Athlete of the Week is Jeremy Burton from Union Rescue Mission’s Nehemiah House and Stronger Together Fitness. Jeremy is positively changing the lives of the men of Nehemiah House one workout at a time... Here is his story in his words…
"I came from a broken home and have struggled with drugs and alcohol since thirteen years old.
I managed it until I was in my mid-twenties, but things fell off the rails when I got ahold of prescription painkillers. I started selling them to make money and support my habit. Then I began to use pills and methamphetamines intravenously, and I knew I was headed for death or prison.
God's grace landed me in jail in a conspiracy pill ring, and I was facing 20 years in prison. I thank God for that day eight years ago and have been sober since then.
I went to rehab at the Union Rescue Mission Nehemiah House and began healing my heart! Shortly after I graduated from the program, I started interning when my dad shot and killed his wife and then shot himself. Little did I know God had big plans for me here at the URM through all of these experiences. I graduated from the internship position and became the Director of Discipleship at URM.
I've struggled with my weight since I was around twelve years old. When I got into the program, I weighed a buck fifty. I had muscle deterioration due to meth and lack of nutrition.
I then began to eat emotionally and gained 70 plus pounds. I didn't like where I was going physically. With a renewed mindset of full recovery from anything harmful to my body, I set out to change my overall health. When I found CrossFit, I immediately knew it was something I loved dearly and would incorporate it into the program.
CrossFit translates so well to this life. It's tough, but it makes you appreciate the struggle. Being able to push through a workout even though you want to quit, makes you feel accomplished and proud of yourself. Doing it in a community that is genuine and loving makes it all the more real.
Since then, I've become a level one instructor and incorporated it as part of the recovery program for Nehemiah House, Dorcas House, and the brothers of M18 recovery!
CrossFit has changed my life, and it's changing the lives of the communities around us. Recovery doesn't happen alone; it takes a support system like in CrossFit. I love getting to see these guys and gals overcome pain and hardship in life and in the gym. Stronger Together Gym isn't just a gym; it's a community of people who care for one another and want to help everyone.
Hard Work Pays Off is something I teach and preach at my facility. As you saw, about five of us have it tattooed on us. This is so much more than just working out! If you work hard at whatever you're doing, no matter the results, no one can take away the effort you put in!
We don't just workout together; we struggle together, we laugh together, and we build together. We are stronger together!"